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Italian sports goods manufacturers ‘team up’ with UAE companies

United Arab Emirates: Monday, December 10 - 2007 @ 12:31

The growing interest of the Italian companies – the world-leaders in sports goods manufacturers – in the UAE epitomizes the strategic importance of the country as the budding hub of sports in the Middle East.

Twelve top Italian companies discussing future cooperation and business collaboration at a roundtable and meeting organized on December 9 at The Palace Hotel, Downtown on Sheikh Zayed Road. The roundtable, being held under the patronage of UAE General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, organized by the Italian Trade Commission-Dubai, Trade Promotion Section of the Italian embassy in the UAE.

The roundtable is supported by the Italian Association of Sporting Goods Manufacturers (Assosport) and the national association representing business in the Italian sports sector. The meeting in Dubai, one of the firsts in the regional sports sector, is driven by the inherent business potential in Middle East, where general attention to sport events and quality sport practices are growing fast.

The roundtable involves UAE top official sports authorities that will highlight the main development in sport sector & industry in the Emirates and the procedures to evolve the cooperation between Italy & the UAE.

Mr Ibrahim Abdulmalik-Secretary General of the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare; Dr. Ahmed Saed Al Sahrif- Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, Mr. Abdul Rahman Falaknaz- founder of the Dubai sport city; Mr Saeed Khalfan-Chairman of Dubai Autodrome; Dr Ashraf Sobhi- Director General of Al Qudra Sport Management; Mr.Hamad Bin Mejren –Director Inward Investment at Dubai Tourism Department, were all present at the event. From the Italian Side; Mrs Mauela Viel- Director General of Assosport, Mr Salvatore Angrisano- Representative of Italian Institute of Foreign Trade in Rome, Mr Rodolfo Panatta- President of Assofitness.

UAE-based companies dealing in sports manufacturing, sportswear, fitness equipment and related fields will be holding bilateral meetings with their Italian counterparts to discuss potential agencies agreement, partnerships and Join ventures.

The UAE’s increasing profile as the preferred sports hub can be gauged from the fact that it currently plays hosts to numerous world-class events in various disciplines, including horse racing, motor racing, golf, tennis, football, rugby, cricket, sailing, powerboat racing and other competitive sports.

In his comments, Dr. Ferdinando Fiore, the Italian Trade Commissioner-Dubai, said: “The business opportunities on offer are immense, considering that the country is currently making massive investments across various infrastructural and sports projects like the Dubai Sports City and Dubai Autodrome. The completion of dedicated adventure sports venues like Ski Dubai, the third largest indoor ski facility in the world, and related wellness domain like health clubs reflect the potential in store for Italian sports goods manufacturers.”

Assosport is looking forward to a very promising dialogue with UAE companies. In his comments, Mrs Manuela Viel, Director General of Assosport, said: “The delegation of 12 companies reflects the potential for sport equipment, fitness accessories and sportswear in this part of the world. The characteristics and the assets of Italian sporting goods are in full tune with the local market. Italy represents excellence in sporting goods manufacturing system in all the described characteristics and products. We look forward to gain a foothold in this strategic regional sports industry.”

It is worth mentioning here that the global consumption of sports goods has registered a 4 per cent growth last year to touch a whopping $256 billion. While North America and Europe leads in the consumption, Middle East offers a promising market, given the potential for sporting events.

Apart from exploring new opportunities for the Italian sports sector, the roundtable also offers an unprecedented chance for the visiting delegation to invest in the UAE market.

The top Italian companies present at the roundtable include Colle S.p.A, Gipsy S.p.A, Bailo S.p.A, Meeting Group S.p.A, JMC S.r.L, Idea S.p.A, Roces S.r.L, Runner S.n.C, E.R. Rovera S.p.A, Fit Interiors S.r.L, Waterfly S.r.L. and Panatta Sport SRL. The Italian Sports Industry boasts of over 800 leading companies with a total turnover of Euro 14 billion, of which 70 per cent is from export earnings.

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Monday, December 10- 2007 @ 12:31 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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